Fact Mountain

Packet databases and other quizbowl sites, apps, or software should be discussed here.
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bdavery
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Fact Mountain

Post by bdavery » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:06 pm

This past summer, I hired several interns to work on a quizbowl app for me. One of those interns was Dallin Kelson, whom many of you know personally and who did a great job on Russian literature. The app he did should be available in January.

In the meantime, the first app in the series, U.S. Presidents, is now available.

To encourage useful criticism of this app, I announce a Fact Mountain Ten-Dollar Challenge for the month of December 2012.

The Challenge is open to absolutely anyone who is willing to follow all of the rules below:

1) Write a tossup to your desired length, quality and pyramidality, that you would be happy to hear in a game, and whose answer is any U.S. President from Washington through Obama.

2) Insert a power mark (*) in your question where appropriate.

3) Buy the Fact Mountain U.S. Presidents iPhone/iPad app online for $2.99 at
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fact-mo ... 66468?mt=8

4) Within the app, go to the “Study Presidents” mode. Scroll to find your President, tap on him, and then scroll through the 50 clues given for that President. (While you’re at it, read the instructions under the ? symbol and then feel free to try out the app’s game mode, flashcard sets and hyperlinks, too.)

5) Now, while keeping your original length, quality and pyramidality intact, rewrite your tossup so that no info in any of that President’s 50 clues appears anywhere after your power mark. This is intended to be impossible, but I’m guessing a few people will succeed in spite of my best efforts.

6) E-mail your tossup on or before Dec. 31, 2012 to bda@averyenterprises.net. So you can do this over Christmas break if you want.

7) If I agree that A) your tossup is well-written and meets general standards of length/quality/pyramidality, B) your power mark is in a reasonable place, C) all of the clues in your question are correct, D) your tossup is free of spelling and grammatical errors, and E) your info after the power mark is clearly useful and clearly well-known to quizbowl players but is clearly missing in the app, I will mail you a check for $10 to cover the cost of the app and a $7 lunch at your favorite eating establishment. Plus, I will include your info in the next edition.

8) Checks go only to the first 10 people who succeed in this. One entry per person.

NOTE 1: Though my decisions about 7) are final and unprotestable, I am trying to create a (series of) quality quizbowl apps with a decent amount of goodwill and will try not to hose anyone.

NOTE 2: Any question that includes a President’s number (“He was the 17th President”, etc.) will be automatically shot down—because A) all of the Presidents’ pictures in the app are from the White House website and thus have their number on them already and B) except in a few cases, that info is not considered useful in quizbowl and smacks of the list memorization regularly condemned on this board.

Good luck!
Bryce Avery
President, Avery Enterprises
http://www.averyenterprises.net/quizbowl-blog

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Cheynem
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Re: Fact Mountain Ten-Dollar Challenge

Post by Cheynem » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:36 pm

This seems impossible to complete unless the app is grossly insufficent. All tossups on presidents would include basic facts after the power mark in the giveaway, like "first president," "president in the Civil War," "president during the Great Depression's beginning," i.e. very very basic facts. I could certainly write a stupid tossup on James Polk that didn't mention he was president during the Mexican-American War in the giveaway or that he was a dark horse, but why would I?
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger

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Muriel Axon
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Re: Fact Mountain Ten-Dollar Challenge

Post by Muriel Axon » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:35 pm

Like Mike, I don't find it encouraging that we'd have to pay money to write (likely) terrible questions for a task that is "intended to be impossible."
Shan Kothari

Plymouth High School '10
Michigan State University '14
University of Minnesota '20

bdavery
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Re: Fact Mountain

Post by bdavery » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:53 pm

[MOD, please change the title of this thread to just "Fact Mountain", since the Challenge time period is over.]

Fact Mountain apps are now available for Windows desktops/laptops.

Go to http://www.factmountain.net/fact-mounta ... sample-app to download the free installer program and a free sample set of U.S. Presidents to see how the apps work.

If you are seriously trying to study quizbowl (as opposed to using Protobowl only as a homework avoidance method), you will discover that the apps are extremely useful. The apps' setup allows you to use what study time you have to actually play/study/learn/memorize instead of search database/copy/paste/make your own study aids/then try and study.

The full U.S. Presidents app is useful not only for quizbowl, but also for History Bee and the AP test in US History (AP test questions don't usually ask quizbowl facts directly --but do assume you have learned those facts from somewhere.)
Bryce Avery
President, Avery Enterprises
http://www.averyenterprises.net/quizbowl-blog

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